It is Never to Late to Learn
13th October 2009
As I said to my students in RPE101, Philosophical and Ethical Arguing (and probably scaring them a little, though that was unintentional), you have to own your own learning, by which I meant you have to transform yourself from a passive to an active learner.
Of course this phrase ‘active and passive learner’ is a fine example of gobbledygook (even though it is beloved of our university), but even jargon can hide a kernel of truth. I was reading on the train that morning of an emeritus professor who is still working at the age of 90 (you can read the article here if you want to).
What inspired me wasn’t his age (though it’s impressive), but how he talked about his experience as a student. He said,
“It’s really about whether you want to learn. There’s a fundamental difference between being taught and learning yourself, which is what you’ve got to do to reach a really high standard.”
“Learning for yourself”, well that is what research is, and should’t that be what we teach above all?